J Biosci. 2014 Mar;39(1):107-17
Rhythmic sound or music is known to improve cognition in animals and humans. We wanted to evaluate the effects of prenatal repetitive music stimulation on the remodelling of the auditory cortex and visual Wulst in chicks. Fertilized eggs (0 day) of white leghorn chicken (Gallus domesticus) during incubation were exposed either to music or no sound from embryonic day 10 until hatching. Auditory and visual perceptual learning and synaptic plasticity, as evident by synaptophysin and PSD-95 expression, were done at posthatch days (PH) 1, 2 and 3. The number of responders was significantly higher in the music stimulated group as compared to controls at PH1 in both auditory and visual preference tests. The stimulated chicks took significantly lesser time to enter and spent more time in the maternal area in both preference tests. A significantly higher expression of synaptophysin and PSD-95 was observed in the stimulated group in comparison to control at PH1-3 both in the auditory cortex and visual Wulst. A significant inter-hemispheric and gender-based difference in expression was also found in all groups. These results suggest facilitation of postnatal perceptual behaviour and synaptic plasticity in both auditory and visual systems following prenatal stimulation with complex rhythmic music.